May 26, 2017 | Johnny R. Lewis Seat belts and airbags serve a critical duty. These devices are designed to keep people safe during the terrible event of an accident. Even traveling at “only” 20 MPH, a driver and a passenger can be seriously injured from an accident. While nothing is a substitute for good, safe, conscientious driving, a vehicle’s safety features must work properly so as to preserve safety when worst-case scenarios arise. Accidents are not always avoidable. When seat belts and/or airbags malfunction during an accident, following a path to seek damages through a civil suit is an option. Recalls and Defects Manufacturers can and do make major mistakes when producing vehicles on an assembly line. Safety concerns may be missed when performing necessary tests. Once a problem comes to the attention of a manufacturer, a recall or safety warning may go out. This does not mean the manufacturer is off the proverbial hook for any injuries that result from poor quality control, design, or manufacturing. If the manufacturer is liable, then the manufacturer may be sued for damages and injuries that result from the negligence. The average car purchaser is not going to be aware of recall news since this is not something he/she actively seeks out. Yes, based on warranty and sales information, the manufacturer may send a letter to the home of an owner warning about a recall. If the owner does not receive the notice, he or she could still have a case if an accident occurs. A car accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN, professional just might be able to craft a compelling case against the manufacturer. Repairs and Negligence Car owners do need to be aware that any mechanic who works on a vehicle must perform great care to avoid creating hazards. If work is done on a car at a garage and damage is inflicted on the vehicle, the garage owner and other parties may be held liable. After all, negligence and liability refer to fault. Shoddy repair work is clear a form of negligence. When a seatbelt fails due to a mechanic’s poor work, an auto accident lawyer may be able to build a strong case. Sadly, car owners may not be aware of how the law works or how liability statutes are written. Therefore, they do not explore all possible legal remedies when injured. Speaking with an attorney after any type of accident where negligence seems to be a culprit would be a wise move. Shared Responsibility Consider the scenario where a driver is not wearing a seat belt and is hit by a driver who went through a red light at a high rate of speed. Not wearing a seat belt might be deemed a partial reason for the accident, but not the entire reason. After all, the other driver committed two moving violations. Once again, never make any assumptions about liability or the potential success rate of any car accident suit. Speak with an attorney about the matter.